OKLAHOMA CITY – Among the worst in the nation, that’s the review of Oklahoma City roads, according to a new report.
The report by a group out of Washington says Oklahoma City roads are among the 25 worst in the country.
Oklahoma City officials say they are doing what they can to keep the roads here in good shape, adding that potholes and road construction are common in any city.
“I know the quality and safety of the streets is one of our top priorities. We’re constantly working,” said Shannon Cox, with the Oklahoma City Public Works Department.
City officials say improving and maintaining streets is a huge task.
“We do try to maintain our streets and not just maintain but improve,” said Cox.
The report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead – America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Roads Smoother,” by the research group TRIP, looks at the condition of the pavement and calculates the extra cost to drivers to maintain their vehicles when driving on area roads.
“It depends on where we’re at, like down in the south, they’re bad, but here in the north, they’re not as bad,” said Chris Hernandez, a local driver.
Drivers we found say there are definitely areas of concern, but they feel the city does work hard to keep up with any issues.
In fact, some drivers say calling them the worst is simply unfair.
“I’ve been to other places that have worse,” said Vanessa, another driver.
And the city agrees.
“It’s a bold statement,” said Cox. “It’s just a top concern. I know we are constantly trying to improve.”
So, just how much are those roads costing us?
The report ranks Oklahoma City as having the 16th worst roads in the country, followed by Tulsa. Researchers say 45 percent of Oklahoma City roads are in poor condition.
While the roads aren’t the worst, experts say Oklahomans are paying a hefty price for repairs.
Residents in Tulsa spend roughly $928 to pay for car repairs that result from the bad roads. Oklahoma City follows at $917.
“These latest rankings are distressing for several reasons,” said Chuck Mai, vice president of public affairs for AAA Oklahoma. “They’re further evidence of compromised safety on the road, of motorists’ depleted pocketbooks, and of commerce being negatively impacted. While the Oklahoma Legislature recently stepped up to increase transportation funding, providing resources which ODOT has spent judiciously and effectively, the TRIP report demonstrates that more dollars must be forthcoming at the local, state and federal levels if we expect these rankings to improve.”
In the meantime, the city says part of keeping up with street maintenance is a team effort.
They say if you see an issue that is in need of attention, you should report it by calling the city.